President’s Introductory Remarks

General Assembly 6-7- May 2022 (ZOOM)

Good morning everyone

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this General Assembly.  We will receive the report of the Surveillance Committee and we will talk about the Union BBQ that will take place in June.

There are several big issues and challenges facing us as a union in this mandate:

Organizing the non-unionized

We have a lot of work to do these days.  We have submitted an Application under Section 39 of the Labour Code to organize over 150 people who occupy positions known as “unionizable but not unionized employees” commonly referred to as SNS.

These positions should not exist because under the Labor Code all employees must be members of the certified union for their group unless they are employer representatives exercising management powers.  In our opinion, very few qualify as employer representatives.

The Administrative Labour Tribunal (TAT) will decide this issue.

Offensive against union officers

We also reacted to an offensive by the MUHC to interfere with the work of Union delegates in meetings.  We have had numerous problems with several labor relations counsellors who have often tried to prevent our officers from speaking in meetings, which they cannot do.

The MUHC who initiated an offensive against our union officers, first by trying to prevent union officers from speaking at meetings and then by filing a management grievance against 7 union officers and their representation work.

We countered with a complaint filed under section 12 of the Labour Code, that is, against an attempt by the MUHC to control, hinder or interfere with union representation work.

We want an end to any obstruction of union work.  

A delegate targeted by the MUHC

We had a hearing before the Labour Court in the case of a member of the Union Council whom the MUHC tried to intimidate with a measure in his file during a simple transfer from MGH to Lachine.

We filed a complaint which was heard by the Tribunal administratif du Travail.  I would like to congratulate our delegate who testified with great confidence before the Tribunal.  We await the decision.

The next round of bargaining

Although we have just signed the collective agreement, we must prepare the next round of bargaining because the current agreement covers the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023.  It ends in less than a year.  The unions have to file their demands this fall…it’s coming up really fast.  If we want to have a say we need to participate massively in the FSSS decision-making bodies, in our assemblies and demonstrations. 

The last negotiation resolved some pay equity issues but it did not resolve all of them, particularly those of almost all of our category 3 members. Only the Administrative Technicians and Librarians obtained a favourable settlement. For the rest (Administrative Officers 1, 2, 3 and 4, Medical Secretaries, Buyers, PDRMs…) the battle remains to be done and we will do it. 

Unlike other unions, the CSN has not abandoned your complaints.  The law obliges the government to settle pay equity complaints with the union that has the majority in Quebec for a job category that is the subject of a complaint.  Since the CSN has a large majority in categories 2 and 3, it is with the CSN that the government must settle the complaints.

We are currently conducting a campaign for the office sector and MDR’s.  We even had demonstrations and invaded the room of a downtown hotel that was receiving Minister Sonia Lebel who came to address the Chamber of Commerce.  

This action, in which our delegates (SECUSM-MUHCEU) took part, considerably delayed the Minister’s speech.  We will have other flash actions soon.  Log on to our web page and facebook page to find out about upcoming actions.

The only thing I can tell you is that the CSN will not give up for category 3.  

Cost of living

During the last round of negotiations, the government served us the same soup that the Liberals had served us, the famous refrain: “this is the maximum that taxpayers can pay“. But our salary increase is 2% while inflation is 6% in 2021 and above 6% at the beginning of 2022…

It doesn’t make sense.  Members will have to get involved to change this and the opportunity is there with the renewal of the contract in 2023. 

The main trade union centrals are working to form a common front for two reasons  

1) It is absolutely necessary to present identical demands to the government 

2) we must not spend our time and energy in a destructive raiding a few months before we submit our demands to the government.

The last two rounds of negotiations have been undermined from within by union division and raiding.  It has to stop.

Good meeting everyone

Shiaman Diawara
President MUHCEU-CSN

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